Name: A Walk Through Dementia
Publisher: Alzheimer’s Research UK
Android: requires Android 4.4 and up. App size 627mb
Can be downloaded as an app or as a VR (Virtual Reality) cardboard app
*We tested this on an a Nexus 7 using the phone app version and not the VR version.*
Available from: Google Play
Type of information: The apps aims to provide immersive insight into the symptoms that people with dementia may experience using 360 degree video sequences. There are three sequences, going to the supermarket, making your way back home, and making cups of tea for visitors.
- Simple to use
- the use of 360 video puts you into the shoes of someone with dementia, and helps add to the disorienting effect that people with dementia may experience
- A list of symptoms that are experienced by people with dementia are listed at the end of each video sequence.
- A glitch was experienced during the supermarket video sequence
- Only available on Android devices.
When you open up the app, you are given the choice of listening to an introduction to the app from the broadcaster Jon Snow, which you can skip, and a choice of 3 video chapters to play. There is a background storyline that links the three chapters, but they can be played in any order.
The app uses 360 degree video software and you have to hold it up at eye level, and physically move the device to see the surroundings within the video. The supermarket chapter uses 3D animation and requires some interactivity with the surroundings. There are instructions given at the start of the clip for what to do and it’s not difficult to follow. A glitch was encountered during the first attempt, but not during a repeat of the clip.
The use of 360 degree video sequences and a voice over expressing the thoughts of someone with dementia is an effective way of putting you into the shoes of someone with dementia. It illuminates the sense of distress that can be felt and how things that were once simple can become difficult and complicated, highlighting symptoms of dementia that the app user may not previously have been aware of, such as the judgement of speeds and distance, and hand-eye coordination.
This app is a visual way of raising awareness of what it is like for someone living with dementia.
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